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(Review originally written at 23 September 2007)

Just like with "Femme Fatale" was the case, the opening sequences of this movie is more legendary than the actual movie itself. The opening sequences of this movie lasts for about 13 minutes. It seems like its one big long take but there are some hidden cuts in it. Most people that are really into movies will notice some of the cuts. De Palma uses some good editing tricks and crafty cinematography. It also makes the opening the highlight of the movie. Of course you can wonder if its really wise and good for a movie to have its best moment in the beginning. Everything that comes after it just doesn't match up to it and it might very well be the reason why this movie disappointed many people.

I really like it how the same events are told throughout the movie from different viewpoints. It sheds now light on the truth and helps to unveil the story and plot. That's some great film-making! It also makes the movie a very original one in its sort.

Yes, the movie gets at points hard to follow, mainly because it isn't always credible what's happening on the screen. Nevertheless, I remember the first time I saw the movie that the twists in it surprised me and the story was a great mysterious one.

Nicolas Cage and Gary Sinise are really strong actors in this movie. It takes some skill to handle all those long scene's without messing up and staying consistent. Especially Gary Sinise is great but I think that Nicolas Cage is also under-appreciated in his role. You are supposed to sort of dislike him, I mean he really isn't a clean cop, and that's what I like about the character and Cage's his performance.

I also enjoyed the musical score by Ryuichi Sakamoto. It's totally overblown and out of proportion but it suits the movie and its style really well. Same of course goes for the cinematography.

It's basically a very stylish and originally made movie, like you would expect from Brian De Palma. It's obviously not his most expensive movie because most of the movie is set at one location and it also isn't the longest movie around. It makes this an enjoyable 'small' De Palma movie that's also perfectly watchable for the general public. The movie is made in the sort of style they also used to make '40's movies in. I especially like the use of shadows in this movie. De Palma is, as far is I know of, the only director who can successfully implement '40's movie-making style into modern film-making. It's a good looking movie with a style that captures you and sort of makes you forgive the inconsistencies and flaws in the story. However if you also look beyond this style you'll notice that the story and its thriller elements are all quite standards and nothing really really. Just the way it all is dressed is new! So yes, it's a case of style over substance, like often is the case with De Palma movies. But as a fan I really aren't complaining about this!

Most recommendable to the De Palma fans but other people should also be able to appreciate the style and craftsmanship of this movie.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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